A historic schoolhouse in Murrayville has been retained and revitalized for a new use, marking its role as a beacon of early twentieth century development in Langley. For making this preservation of heritage a reality, Lanson Foster, of Lanstone Homes, was this year’s recipient of a Township of Langley Community Heritage Register Plaque.
Originally built in 1911 as a two-room schoolhouse known as Belmont Superior School, the building quickly expanded to four rooms within the two years that followed. When the need for a separate high school was realized in 1922, the schoolhouse was renamed Murrayville Elementary, and continued to serve Murrayville’s expanding educational needs for almost one hundred years until it was decommissioned in 2004.
Recognizing the importance of the school and what it meant to the community, Lanson Foster and his team transformed the school to a multi-family residence with six unique dwelling units as part of a larger development. The historic characteristics of the school were preserved and restored, and the century-old row of mature oak trees, originally planted in front of the school along 48th Ave. at the time the school was built, were also conserved as part of the project.
Completed in 2020, the schoolhouse remains a legacy of the historical growth and development of the Murrayville community and the rapid expansion of the educational system that occurred in Langley throughout the twentieth century.
“In the Township of Langley, we value our history, and it is important that we honour and preserve our past,” said Mayor Jack Froese, as Foster received a plaque on Monday, Feb. 8. “As the recipient of this year’s Community Heritage Register Plaque, we acknowledge Lanson Foster for his heritage conservation efforts in conserving this unique building that tells the story of our past and will continue to serve our community in future.”
The Community Heritage Register Plaque Program was established over a decade ago to acknowledge the people and groups who own registered properties and have taken steps to preserve, restore, or adapt them for continued use. Recipients are chosen annually by the Township’s Heritage Advisory Committee.
The awarding of the bronze plaque coincides with the celebration of Heritage Week throughout the province that runs from February 15 to 21.
For more information on heritage conservation in the Township of Langley, visit tol.ca/heritageconservation.
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